Should I use the singular “was” or the plural “were” in the following sentence?
The first thing that I noticed was (OR) were the street performers singing near the main entrance of the park.
If I reversed the order, should the verb agree with its antecedent the street performers, which is a plural noun, or with singular noun “thing”?
The street performers, singing near the main entrance of the park, were (OR) was the first thing I noticed.
I could change the singular thing into things but I am uncomfortable with saying “the performers” are “things”.
The street performers, singing near the main entrance of the park, were the first things I noticed.